From MentorNet #73
Tracking progress of the gospel is proving to be a widely-practiced facet of mentoring for reproductive disciple-making. Continual gathering of reliable statistics on the outcomes of church-planting efforts enable timely decisions, since leaders can better:
- Discern which populations are currently responsive and warrant more workers.
- Recognize unreached and unengaged social segments where churches exist.
- Discover highly-effective workers who can be coached for a greater impact.
- Uncover ineffective workers who require more training or should be deployed elsewhere.
In the Book of Acts, the apostles apparently gathered data on their work, for they were able to report on how the messianic movement was growing, both by adding and by multiplying:
- Numbers Baptisms and believers, by gender, added to churches (2:41; 2:47; 5:14; 11:24).
- Numbers of disciples by region, city and social class (Acts 6:1; 6:7).
- Churches by region (9:31; 16:5).
- Regions penetrated by the Word of God (12:24; 13:48-49; 19:20).
Monitoring report forms, compiled results, and reports to leaders consist of qualitative descriptions and of quantitative counts. To prove practical in the field, report forms must prove short, clear, easy to fill in, and readily available. Making such reports must be integrated in the normal activities of local leaders and mentors must submit them regularly.
Tracking progress and measuring impact is a necessary part of fueling of missional movements. The challenge for leaders is to actually measure and count with a purpose. Utilizing reports to further the gospel must be a priority.
Ultimately, we must focus on seeing a decrease in the number of unbelievers in our neighborhood or community. This will indicate an increase in the number of disciples making disciples.